Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our
review process here.
We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
With the Acer Aspire E 15, you really have it all. With powerful performance and a long-lasting battery, this model offers some of the best specs on the market, at a reasonable price. It holds an 8th-generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor, high-speed Intel Turbo Boost, 6GB dual channel memory, and a 1TB hard drive. The display features full HD resolution, although the brightness is a bit low. The E 15 is built for work and productivity, which is clear from its no-nonsense, utilitarian features. On the sides, you’ll find a good amount of port space, for USB 3.0, 2.0, and Type-C, Ethernet, HDMI, as well as an SD card slot, and a DVD burner. Altogether, it’s a great value, especially for working professionals.
The Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible is one of the most versatile hybrids on the market. It can be used in four modes: Notebook, Display, Tent and Tablet. It has a 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768-pixel touchscreen display and a 360-degree hinge that folds back to a tablet configuration. For its size, it also has a pretty decent battery life that will last you around 10 hours. The basic model houses an Intel N2840 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space. You can jump up to an N3150 processor and more memory and storage, but that of course will cost you. No matter how you configure it, though, you’ll have a very affordable and incredibly versatile machine. Overall, it’s a tight little device that one customer praised by saying, “this is what I came to the future for.”
For a very modern blend of power and portability, the 2020 version of the Aspire 5 is one of Acer's best. With a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit IPS display, it delivers sharp visuals with an extremely narrow bezel. It's powered by a brand new 10th-generation Intel Core i7-10510U processor, a generous 12GB of RAM, and a capacious 512GB solid state drive. It also includes a dedicated GPU, Nvidia's GeForceMX350 with 2 GB dedicated memory.
The Aspire 5 is slender, light, and attractive, with a sandblasted aluminum top cover, and it'll last throughout your workday on the strength of 11 hours of battery life. It even comes with an embedded fingerprint scanner for added security, which works with Windows Hello to let you log in quickly with a single touch.
Gaming laptops are entirely different beasts. They are generally bulkier, deliver more power and cost a pretty penny more. And measuring 1.56 x 16.65 x 12.66 inches (HWD) and weighing nearly 10 pounds, the Acer Predator 17 certainly doesn’t dispel any of those notions. It’s powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and sports a 17.3-inch IPS screen with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution.
If you’re up for some marathon gaming sessions, you’ll certainly appreciate the Cooler Master fan module, which can be swapped out with the optical drive and prevents the laptop from running too hot. By pressing Button 5, you can activate PredatorSense, a gaming control panel that lets you customize features such as macro programmable keys and backlit lighting controls. Oh, and did we mention it’s VR-ready? The Predator 17 is by no means a subtle gaming laptop, but for those who take gaming seriously, it’s a great fit.
Technology continues to make amazing advances, but still it seems our gadgets are getting pricier and pricier. (Looking at you, Apple!) So it blows our mind that you can get a laptop as good as the Acer Chromebook 15 for under $160. While the design is nothing to write home about, the 15.6-inch LED-backlit screen feels spacious compared to other Chromebooks. Of course, that means it’s not as portable as its 11-inch and 13-inch siblings, but it’s still slim and lightweight enough to carry around with one hand.
Inside it houses a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 (with integrated Intel HD Graphics 400) and 2GB of RAM, which is more than enough for your daily surfing and word processing. Perhaps most impressively, Acer claims the battery will last up to 12 hours, but several tests proved that it can power on for several hours after that.
Keep in mind that this is a Certified Refurbished laptop, but Amazon guarantees it will look and work like new. Still not convinced? It ships with a 90-day warranty to ease your fears.
The eye-catching Chromebook 11 sports a clean, white chassis that, while made of plastic, still feels sturdy. Under the hood, it has an Intel Celeron N2840 Dual-Core Processor 2.16GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.58GHz, plus 4GB of DDR3L SDRAM memory and 16GB of internal storage. Combined, that’s suitable for all your Web-browsing and YouTube-watching needs; multi-tasking might slow you down a bit, though. Its 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 screen boasts wide viewing angles and minimal glare, making it equally productive in indoor and outdoor settings.
Measuring 8.03 x 11.57 x .73 inches and weighing under 2.5 pounds, it’s without a doubt the most travel-friendly of this bunch. A few reviewers report that the compact keyboard takes some getting used to, but that’s the price you pay for ultimate portability.
If it’s great design that you’re after, the Acer Swift 3 is a noble – albeit budget – option; it’s about as close as a Macbook as you’ll get while still running Windows. But as we know, looks can be deceiving because it’s built around a plastic frame, so unfortunately it doesn’t feel as solid as a Macbook. Its 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution display runs a bit dim, but has applaudable viewing angles and can even tilt back 180 degrees to avoid strange glare. The backlit keyboard is spacious and even includes a fingerprint sensor connected with Windows Hello, so you can sign in with just one touch.
Available in various configurations, from an i3 to i5 Core, up to 8GB of RAM and an 256GB SSD, the Acer Swift 3 is more than capable of carrying out basic tasks like streaming video and Web browsing.
Whether you’re dashing off to class or hunkering down in the library for a marathon study session, the Acer Spin 5 is an A+ pick for students. The machine is solidly built and features a well laid out backlit keyboard and trackpad. Its hinge rotates 360 degrees to fold back into tent and tablet modes, which makes it perfect for going straight from studying to streaming. Inside, it has a powerful 7th-generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor with 2.5GHz with Turbo Boost technology up to 3.1GHz (3MB L3 cache). Its 13-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display runs a bit dim, which means you should probably avoid using it out on the quad, but is just fine for classroom use. And best yet, the Acer Spin 5 is surprisingly affordable if you’re on a student budget.
Windows vs. Chrome OS - Most of Acer’s laptops come with Windows, but Chrome OS is also an option. If you want to play games, or you need to run any Windows applications for work or school, stay away from Chrome OS. If you can get most of your work done in a web browser, then Acer’s Chrome OS laptops offer great performance and battery life at a lower price point.
Style - Acer covers all of the bases with everything from affordable 2-in-1 tablet hybrids to powerful business and gaming machines. If you want touchscreen and pen input support at great price, look at Acer’s Spin line. The Aspire line also has decent performance and styling at affordable prices, while the Predator line is what you’re looking for if gaming is your thing.
Gaming - Acer’s strongest points are its budget laptops and its gaming laptops, but the two categories don’t usually overlap. If you want the best gaming experience possible, Acer’s Predator line includes powerful video cards, massive displays, and distinctive styling touches. If you want a gaming machine that can double as a business laptop in professional settings, look for an Acer Aspire with a decent graphics card and a big display.